Toronto has become the most expensive large city in Canada in which to live, according to a survey by consulting firm Mercer.

The survey, which looks at items like housing, transport, food, and entertainment costs, found that the rising cost of rent in Toronto pushed up the cost of living, helping the city to surpass Vancouver in the annual rankings.

Toronto now is the 59th most expensive city in the world, up from the 76th position last year. Vancouver climbed to 65th from 75th place last year. They were followed by Montreal and Calgary, at 79th and 96th place respectively.

Ottawa was the least expensive Canadian city the Mercer survey looked at. It came in at 114th in the world.

The Mercer cost of living survey looks at 214 cities in five continents, measuring the comparative cost of over 200 items, including: housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment. Parking alone in Toronto can cost hundreds of dollars per month.

One of the main factors influencing a city's ranking in the survey is the strength of its country's currency relative to the U.S. dollar. So the increased strength of the loonie relative to the U.S. dollar over the last year allowed Canadian cities to move up the ranks and be considered more expensive.

As well, New York City is used as the base when evaluating cost changes. So if prices in any city increase more than they did in New York, that city moves up in the rankings.

The most expensive cities in the world in which to live are:

  • Luanda, Angola
  • Tokyo
  • N'Djamena, Chad
  • Moscow
  • Geneva

Karachi, Pakistan came out as the world's least expensive city.

Mercer says the survey is the world's most comprehensive cost of living survey. It's designed to help multinational companies and governments determine how much to pay their expatriate employees.